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1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste. 500

Washington, DC 20035

1740 Broadway, 15th floor

NYC, NY 10019


© 2023 The Denyce Graves Foundation

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The Denyce Graves Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 



1914 - 2001

● Attended the State Teachers College in Cheyney (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania)

● Received a scholarship to study music at the Mannes College of Music in NYC


​Drafted during WWII and served in Europe where he gave concerts

● After returning home he toured the country with Leonard De Paur’s Infantry Chorus, appeared with NY City Opera, NY Opera Theatre Company, Harlem Opera Society and the Community Opera Company

● Performed on Broadway in Show Boat (1946) and Caribbean Carnival (1947)

● Appeared on TV and radio including Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and Tommy Tucker’s Sing for your Supper

● 1951 sang his debut recital at Town Hall

● 1951 Met Auditions of the Air 2nd place winner

● Served as treasurer of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM)

In the book "A Documentary History of the National Association of Negro Musicians" edited by Dorris Evans McGinty, Fred Thomas has a couple of sections dedicated to his biographical information, as well as some letters written to him. One was written by Dr. Uzee Brown Jr., Dean Emeritus of Fine Arts at Morehouse College, who served as NAMN president at the time of Thomas' death. Of all of the records and papers I have read about him, including papers from Robert Hansen, 1997 President of the National Opera Association, Fred Thomas was not only a great musician but a high-spirited person. Even during his latter years of declining health, he still remained jubilant about music and especially about NAMN. He truly loved the organization and ensured they maintained good finances during his tenure. I aspire to be like Fred Thomas, being well respected in his community for his art as well as being a great person all around, despite any shortcomings life may bring. A good heart breeds an excellent musician!

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